meat

JSK Cattle Company

by Anne Maxfield on December 17, 2018

Accidental Locavore JSK Cattle SignOn a back road outside of Millbrook, you’ll find JSK Cattle Company.

Don’t let the name fool you, there’s much more than just cattle at this farm.

Heather Kading and her husband Jason oversee a menagerie that includes a welcoming committee of 5 goats, 2 flocks of chickens (one for laying eggs, the other for dinner), some pigs (loving this mud-producing fall) and cattle.

Heather originally trained as a massage therapist but got side-tracked and is now trying to figure out how to meld that with farming.

“The goats are really good therapy. Anyone who goes out there and plays with them starts smiling and it relaxes them. It’s really cool.”

Accidental Locavore JSK Cattle GoatsThey’ve built a farm store where you can find all their pork, chicken, and beef. If you’ve got freezer space, they’ll happily sign you up for a half or quarter of a cow or pig. Don’t worry, if you’re dealing with a standard freezer, there are plenty of good cuts to take home and enjoy and they conveniently tell you how much freezer space a ¼ pig will take up (about 2 cubic feet, if you’re curious).

“We met showing cattle in 4H when we were 12.” Heather says. Jason grew up on a farm close by. They both went away to school in different locations and got back together running the local 4H club and the rest is history.

When they started to have children, they became concerned about where their food was coming from—what they were feeding them. They started raising more cattle for beef and selling it in halves and quarters from their basement freezers.

As you can imagine, loading and unloading large (heavy) parts of cows up and down stairs was a lot of heavy lifting. So, they built the farm store, selling at first just their pasture-raised beef (hormone and antibiotic free), adding in 2017 grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork, chickens and eggs. Last year they even decided to take on turkeys, but that turned out to be too much at one time, but it might be a project for 2019, so stay tuned.

Accidental Locavore JSK Cattle ChickensAlong with their meats and eggs, there are local products too, like yummy Cara-Sel, Zoe’s ice cream, local sodas and maple syrups.

And keep in touch with them, goat yoga may make its way onto the farm soon!

Besides the farm store, you can find their meats at several local restaurants, and the Taste of NY Store on the Taconic Parkway and other local stores.

JSK Cattle Company

150 Chestnut Ridge Road

Millbrook NY 12545

914-456-9051

www.jskcattlecompany.com

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10 Reasons to Buy from a Butcher

by Anne Maxfield on April 30, 2018

Accidental Locavore Butcher Case If you bypass a butcher to just grab a couple of steaks or a chicken from the store, you might not be making the most of your meat-buying dollars.

Having a butcher you can depend on is the next best thing to buying a part of an animal from a local farm or meat CSA (and requires a lot less freezer space).

Why would you want to search out and befriend a butcher? Here are 10 reasons I love hanging out with people like Barb at Barb’s Butchery:

  1. If you have a dish at a restaurant with an interesting cut of meat, they can replicate it. Recently, I was reviewing a restaurant for Organic Hudson Valley Magazine and had a pork shank, something I wasn’t familiar with. I mentioned it to Barb and she was intrigued enough to start cutting some shanks from the pig she was breaking down.Accidental Locavore Butcher Pork Shank
  2. You know where your meat is coming from. They have relationships with farmers, so you’ll know how it was raised, finished and butchered.
  3. They can guide you to lesser known cuts (often known as butcher’s cuts) that are often less expensive and more flavorful. While cuts like short ribs and skirt steaks have gained popularity, flat-iron steaks are still flying under the radar and well worth checking out.Accidental Locavore Pig Butcher
  4. They can give you recipes and ideas. This is really useful if you want to try out some of the lesser-know parts of an animal. Often, if you have a recipe in mind, they can give you alternative meat ideas that might save you some money.
  5. They can teach you a lot of stuff. I learned how to test for doneness by just poking the meat. Here’s a link to the video I made; it’s much easier to see it in action.
  6. They can custom cut anything for you (although I always feel guilty about asking to have a chicken cut up—it’s so easy and I should practice my knife skills).
  7. They can grind it for you (important if you’re making something like steak tartare or have a special hamburger or meatloaf mix in mind).Accidental Locavore Butcher Sausage
  8. They can tell you about new stuff they’re working on and save you some. Barb recently made some Saucisse de Toulouse that were terrific!
  9. They may be making great sandwiches. Sometimes they’re posted and sometimes you just have to be in the know, but look for great brisket, Cubans, or Italian combos to be on the menu.
  10. You’re supporting a local business (and probably more than one, if they’re buying local meat).Accidental Locavore Barbs Butcher Bisket Sandwich

Did I miss anything? What do you like about shopping at a butcher?

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Roasting: 10 Easy Steps to a Perfect Roast

by Anne Maxfield on December 22, 2016

Accidental Locavore Roasting Thai ChickenThe Accidental Locavore thinks that roasting meat (or vegetables) is one of the easiest ways to get an impressive dinner on the table.

Don’t be afraid of roasting. If you have the right tools, it’s a snap.

Roasting in 10 easy steps:

  1. Remove the meat from the fridge about an hour before you want to start.
  2. Make sure oven racks are in the middle of the oven and you have enough room for the roasting pan and its contents. If not, lower the rack until you do.
  3. Preheat the oven: 350° for most meats, 250° if you’re doing a slow roast duck, hotter for chickens and vegetables.
  4. Speaking of vegetables, tossing them in olive oil, salt and pepper and throwing them on a sheet pan in a 400° oven always works.
  5. And don’t forget potatoes! Cut in chunks, boiled until just tender and tossed into the bottom of a pan about 15 minutes before the meat is cooked, makes wonderful roast potatoes (especially good under chickens and ducks!).Accidental Locavore Roasting Potatoes
  6. While the oven is heating, pat the meat dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper liberally (i.e. use more than you think), inside and out.
  7. If you’re using a rack a quick spray or a light rub of oil makes clean-up easier.
  8. Place your meat on the pan (or rack) and put it in the oven. The length of time your meat will need to cook depends on the size of your roast and how well cooked you like your meat. This is where the instant-read thermometer will save the day. Click here for a handy chart and remember to always stick the thermometer in the thick part of your roast (for chicken it’s the thigh).
  9. When the meat is cooked to your liking, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. This is not about torturing you or your guests, it’s about letting the juices re-circulate, making the meat tender and juicy.
  10. Carve, serve and enjoy!
    See, wasn’t that easy? What are your best roasting tips?

 

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Do You Eat Vegan? Why I Can’t

by Anne Maxfield on March 21, 2016

Accidental Locavore PETA Vegan MagRecently, my mother gave me a copy of the Peta Vegan Starter Kit, a magazine to get you started on a vegan diet. Now, the Accidental Locavore loves cheese and meat, so the chances of me going vegan are slim to none. It’s a free country and if you choose to eat vegan, that’s your choice (like supporting certain loud-mouth politicians), but don’t expect me to.

Accidental Locavore PETA Vegan ChickenMy biggest problem with it, and something that is conveniently overlooked, is the reliance on processed foods. By page 3, Peta is promoting faux chicken and beef, along with vegan margarine (when was the last time anyone even used margarine?). It reminded me of one of the most shocking episodes of the Oprah show I ever saw.

She had convinced her staff to go vegan for a week. To illustrate the point, Kathy Freston, an author of vegan cookbooks, went to a staffer’s house, cleared out everything non-vegan and went shopping at Whole Foods with the staffer. There they piled a shopping cart full of food, but the cart wasn’t full of vegetables and fruit. Instead, Kathy eagerly pointed out the tofu Italian sausages, tapioca mozzarella, fishless fish sticks, etc. It looked like every single thing in the cart was processed food.

Accidental Locavore Vegan PhotosWhy would you give up simple food—meat, fish, vegetables to eat a “Cheerful Log” Vegan Ham Loaf with a list of ingredients that includes: Vegan chunk (non-GMO) soy protein, soy fiber, wheat protein), non-GMO sunflower oil, tapioca starch, vegetable protein (sweet pea, carrot) , vegan seasoning (licorice, kelp) red yeast, sugar, trehalose*, soy sauce (non GMO) sea salt?

At least the soy is non-GMO, although since the Cheerful Log is made in Taiwan, you might be skeptical about that claim. Although tofu is considered to be good for you, 94% of soy beans in the US are GMO, so not as good for you as we might believe.

Accidental Locavore Vegan IdeasAnd being vegan takes a lot of time. A lot of time. It’s hard to find truly vegan food and then, if you care, probably harder to find food that tastes good. While I have had a couple of dishes where tempe and tofu star, for every one of those, I’ve endured glop that resembles chipboard (probably vegan) more than a Black Angus burger. What about you, could you do it?Accidental Locavore Noshis Burger

*also known as mycose or tremalose, is a natural alpha-linked disaccharide formed by an α,α-1,1-glucoside bond between two α-glucose units. Whatever that means.

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